Did You Know?

Interesting Historical Tibbits:

IBEW, Local Union 304 was Chartered November 2, 1933.

December 8, 1933 had 20 members.

1st Labor Union office was at 903 Western (1940(?) to 1976).

Union Positions appointed were President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary & 3 Executive Board Members.

June 28, 1934: 32 Members present at the Union meeting, agreed to increase the Executive Board to 7 members. Granted permission from the International Office to affiliate with the Topeka Federation of Labor.

Local Union 304 By-Laws approved by the International Office April, 1936.

Union meetings use to be held in members homes until March 14, 1935 they approved to have them held @ the Old Masonic Temple on Jackson Street in Topeka.

Ladies Auxiliary formed August, 1936. They held Watermelon Feeds along with Picnics.

“A” and “BA” membership status was approved December 24, 1936.

June 24, 1937 sub local “B304” was formed in Hutchinson, Kansas. June 23, 1938 sub local was formed in Lawrence, Kansas. January 12, 1938 sub local was formed in Emporia, Kansas. October 26, 1939 sub local’s Manhattan & Parsons was formed. June 25, 1942 elections @ Atchison Line Dept., Salina & McPherson Gas Plant, and Kinsley plants voted in the union. January, 1960 16 employees from Council Grove, REA requested representation from union. April, 1960, Scott City & Garden City groups voted to have Local 304 represent them, 60 employees. June, 1963 Liberal voted as unit. August, 1968 Wheatland Electric employees signed authorization for representation to Local 304. Victory Electric employees petitioned for representation May, 1976. Jeffrey Energy Center signed Local 304 as bargaining agent September, 1977.

May 12, 1938 approved to hire a Business Manager.

August 25, 1938 the first Kansas Electric Power Company agreement was formed. 

May 26, 1939 union meeting agreed to form a Labor Day Softball team, agreed to purchase 12 balls, 12 bats, 1 mask & 15 caps for a total of $25.00.

October 9, 1941 the Executive Board approved to buy the Local their first Adding Machine.

March, 1942 all members tickets were checked prior to start of union meetings.

June, 1942, City of Hoisington negotiations were going on.

Raleigh Cigarettes were sold to Local Unions @ four & one half cents a pack if 10 or more cases were bought and distributed to service men as a morale booster.

Affiliated with the Kansas State Association of Electrical Workers (KSAEW) July 8, 1943.

June 28, 1945 American Federation of Labor ask our support to help Organize Goodyear Rubber Plant.

First meeting for the Apprenticeship Training Committee for Kansas Power & Light held April 24, 1947.

Combined Financial Secretary and Business Manager positions June 10, 1948.

December 1948 explosion at Tecumseh Power Plant killing 6 employees and 3 contractors.

March 9, 1950 the 1st woman was accepted in the local employed at Tecumseh Power Plant.

July, 1953, Monthly Salary for the Business Manager was $580.00, the Assistant Business Manager got $570.00.

Union meetings were held the 2nd & 4th Fridays of the month, changed to one a month, the 2nd Thursday of each month in February, 1955, then back to two a month March 22, 1956.

1956, Members had to come to the hall and vote for new officers, not mail out ballots.

August 28, 1958 discussed the Right to Work Law & Taft-Hartley Act.

Referral Procedure came into effect February, 1959.

Employed Retail Clerks @ Safeway Stores were on strike May, 1959. Members seen shopping there brought up a brotherhood discussion.

Tecumseh Power Plant celebrated 1000 days without an accident September 8, 1960.

November, 1961 voted to purchase Business Manager a company car.

Nomination of Officers meeting was held June 14, 1962, 84 members from all over attended.

Ladies Auxiliary won an award for their poster presented at the Kansas Federation of Labor Convention & was printed in the Kansas Labor Weekly.

June, 13, 1963 Union Label & Service Trades Council was founded.

January, 1964. Members were allowed two hours off work to vote in political elections.

Met with Governor Docking in January, 1969 to grant application for a generating plant @ Sunflower Electric in Garden City.

7th District started the “Outstanding Apprentice Contest” for construction, January, 1969.

Payroll Dues Checkoff started with Kansas Power & Light January, 1, 1970 for 436 members.

June 12, 1975 construction work was at it’s worst, of 130 members 50 were unemployed. Construction work gradually started picking up April, 1976.  

April 1978 Offices moved to 1231 N. W. Eugene along with other Labor Unions.

By-Law Amendment passed February, 1979, to have mail out ballots on contracts covering 100 or more members. Construction Unit was the first group to have mail out ballots. June, 1979 KPL was the 2nd mail out ballot. 1134 members with 825 returned.

November 8, 1979, Vote taken at Topeka Service Center for 1/2 lunch period and get off work at 4:30 p.m.

September 1, 1980, KPL Garage employees won election for representation in the union.

November 13, 1980, Local 304 petitioned Ark Valley to represent office employees and won.

January 8, 1981, City of Osawatomie was organized to represent employees.

March 12, 1981, Rally held to protect Unemployment Compensation.

June, 1982, Council on Industrial Relations settled the Construction negotiations with an 8-1/2% wage increase.

1983 it was noted that Medical Insurance will be a major negotiation issue in the future for all contracts.

October 9, 1986 Holcomb Power Plant employees voted for Local 304 to represent them.

CMS @ Meade, Kansas employees voted for Local 304 to be bargaining agent for them, March, 1988.

January thru July, 1989, 10 contracts were open for negotiations: City of Hoisington, Midwest Energy, Wheatland, Ark Valley, Lyon-Coffey, Victory, Tree Trimmers, Western Electric, Construction, and KPL.

September 12, 1991 meeting to discuss merging of KPL & KGE and what effects it will have on employees.

December 12, 1991 PRC Organizing drive. Now known as Northrop-Grumman/AIS, Inc.

May, 1994 Radiant Electric employees voted Local 304 as bargaining representative .

May 24, 1995 received approval from membership to build our own Local Union Office. December 14, 1995 broke ground, completed June, 1996.

June 8, 1995 won Midwest Energy, Colby Division organizing drive.

March, 1996 won representation for employees @ Leavenworth/Jefferson, REA.

January, 1997, Jeffrey Energy Center members took up collection for sign to be put along Hwy. 99 mentioning they are members of IBEW, Local Union 304.

April, 1998, members of KPL contract and KGE members talking of merging contracts.

July, 1998 vote for Sumner Cowley, REA to go union.

July, 1998 Local 304 hosts the Midwest Regional Rodeo at Local Union grounds.

December, 2000, De-regulation Utilicorp announces selling 900 employees and equipment to highest bidder.

September 11, 2001, International Convention in San Francisco in the second day. Delegates attending weren’t sure they would make it back to Kansas when the world changed with the bombings in New York, plane crash at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.

December, 2001. Westar offers Early Retirement to employees. Local 304 lost 25% of members.

May, 2002 Westplains is bought by Aquila.

April 10, 2003, Kansas Gas Service employees @ 501 Gage is @ 88% strong in union membership.

March, 2004, Organizer Carmella Cruse was awarded the National Faith & Political award from the International Office.

May, 2004, Assistant Business Manager Todd Newkirk was offered and accepted a position in the Utility Department at the International Office in Washington, DC.

November 1, 2004 Organizer Carmella Cruse was offered and accepted a position as an Organizer with the International Office in Washington, DC.

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3906 N.W. 16th St.

Topeka, Kansas 66618

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